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Embossed postcard with train image and glitter - 20th Century Limited

Pan-Am Inverts Reprint - March 29, 2001

Pan-Am Invert reprints
Sc. 3505, issued 3/29/01

Pan-Am Invert reprints
Sc. 3505 press sheet, issued 3/29/01

The USPS issued the "souvenir sheet" above, on March 29, 2001, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pan-Am Inverts. The philatelic press pointed out that a souvenir sheet should be issued as a souvenir of something, preferably a philatelic expo, and this had no such connection, so this is more a commemorative panel. And why did they release it in NYC, rather than Buffalo? It also seemed odd the USPS should celebrate a goof, the fact that the inverts were sold in the first place - errors are supposed to be caught and destroyed before they leave the printing plant. Many people found the price odd - $3.27 per sheet - and objected to the 80¢ stamps - eighty cents is the one-ounce rate for international mail.

Whatever. It has a train, and reproduces one of my favorite US stamps, the 2¢ Pan-Am expo issue. And I like it.

The USPS publicity for the issue explains the image that fills most of the sheet - a reproduction from the cover of a guide to the Pan-Am Expo - as depicting an allegorical female figure, representing unity among the Americas, standing on a globe. The flag she holds is half American and half Canadian, a very diplomatic gesture, considering Buffalo's location on the US-Canada border.

The press sheet is just four of the sheetlets, 2 by 2, but it creates some interesting possibilities in terms of new multiples - vertical strips of 8 of the diamond stamps, for instance.

This time I got my act together and created some covers and sent them in for First Day cancellations. Some of those are shown below, along with some FDCs from other sources.

If you would like to see my page showing poster stamps and other ephemera from the 1901 Pan-Am Expo,
click here.

All four of the sets above are my own, i.e. I created them and sent them in for the FD cancels. In case you are wondering, everything except the newly issued stamps is printed. I scanned everything into my computer, then manipulated the images, added the text, and printed directly onto the envelopes. My approach would not be practical for someone making these to sell, as it took me at least an hour per set, and I wasted five or six envelopes in printer problems. The last set is my favorite.

The set above is by Fred Collins.

This is Julian and Sharon Pugh's cover - I like that they used all four of the stamps on one cover, and worked another train in! Below is the set of 1926 Philatelic Expo seals on which they based their design.

I am creating a page of Trains on Philatelic Expo Seals. You may not think there would be enough of those to bother, but take a look.

The cover below, by Romp Cachets (John Romppainen, about whom I know nothing), is one of my favorites - it does nothing more than rearrange the design elements from the sheet onto a cover, but in this case what is simple and obvious turns out very well.

(You might think a name as unusual as "Romppainen" would return very few results in a Google search, but you would be very wrong - try it.)

The One That Got Away

At Pacific 97 I found out that the cardboard labels on the pads in which the Pac 97 souvenir sheets were packaged had the stamp image on them, and I managed to get a few, and get First Day cancels on them. Unfortunately I didn't think of doing that for the Pan-Am Inverts until it was too late. So the label I did manage to get is sadly unadorned.

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All text Copyright © 2001, 2002, William M. Senkus

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Revised -- 11/17/2004